Now in its fourteenth year, our New Voices Award is given to an unpublished author of color for a picture book manuscript. We’re excited to announce the winner of this year’s New Voices Award: Sylvia Liu of Virginia Beach, Virginia for her story, A Morning with Gong Gong. Congratulations, Sylvia!
Liu’s charming and humorous story, A Morning with Gong Gong, portrays an energetic young girl named Mei Mei, as she spends time with her grandfather. When Mei Mei sees her grandfather, Gong Gong, practicing t’ai chi in the garden, she is eager to join in. He tries to teach her the slow and graceful moves, and Mei Mei, in turn, tries to teach Gong Gong some of the yoga poses she has learned in school. Although they both struggle with these new activities, Mei Mei and Gong Gong realize that it’s the time they spend together that is important.
Sylvia Liu is an author and illustrator who was born in the United States to Chinese immigrant parents. Her family moved to Venezuela when she was five years old, and Liu returned to the United States to attend college. She graduated from Harvard Law School and spent a decade as a public interest environmental lawyer, all the while working on her writing and illustration. Liu draws inspiration for her stories from her family, her environmental experiences, and her diverse background. You can learn more about her at her website.
Liu will receive a prize of $1,000 and a publication contract with LEE & LOW BOOKS.
ABOUT THE AWARD:
Last year, books written by authors of color made up less than seven percent of the total number of books published (see these CCBC stats). Authors of color have been significantly underrepresented in publishing for many decades.
The New Voices Award is one way LEE & LOW BOOKS is working to help new authors of color break into publishing. Past winners include Bird by Zetta Elliott and It Jes’ Happened by Don Tate. Submissions for next year will open in late spring — stay tuned for more information and please spread the word to any authors you know who may be eligible!